One of our favorite contributors on Gab is @notadoc. He wrote about his conversion to Christianity; it had so many positive responses, we wanted to give it a permanent url for sharing and posting.
This Is Not V.R.G.!**
**Verbalized Religious Garbage!
“When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.
I went through a “miraculous” conversion to Christianity in May 1970, in Southern California during the “Jesus Movement.” When they write and make movies about that time, rarely do you hear that there were a multitude of “home churches” established by the Holy Spirit, and led by many “new converts.” Many of these new converts would also attend the larger gatherings/”churches” that are usually written about, and who to some degree usurped “God’s Movement.”
Hidden from most, there were a number of “anointed” Bible teachers from various denominations that were making audio cassettes of their teachings. We would make mass reproductions of these cassettes and pass them around. Most of these larger churches would restrict the movement of the Holy Spirit to some degree, therefore after these large services we would retreat to a different location, listen to the latest “teaching tape” and have what was known as an “afterglow.” I was one of those “home church” elders, at the ripe old age of 22. (And yes, I was older than most.).
There was a draft going on at that time, and I was one of the rare individuals who was able to enlist in an Army hospital reserve unit, and spend one weekend a month at the Orange County hospital (UC Irvine medical school). Approximately one year after my conversion, we were assembled in the hospital’s auditorium for the typical afternoon medical/military lectures and discussions. This Sunday afternoon our chaplain, for the first time, wanted to speak to us. Up to that time, most of us didn’t even know that we had a chaplain. We discovered that he also was a pastor in one of the common denominations. That day he was “fired up,” because some “Jesus freaks” had challenged him on some biblical topic in his church that morning. He ranted for about a half-hour.
A lot of my friends in the auditorium, many who went through basic and AIT training with me, (BC — before Christ), were very aware of my conversion. (It seems that I had been a “PA,” — Party Animal, more than a decade before I became a licensed PA — Physician Assistant.). They were all elbowing me and poking my theater seat, while whispering “say something to him John!”
When the chaplain had finished his rant, he asked for questions. A few people raised their hands and he responded accordingly. And I kept on getting bumped and encouraged to say something. I finally raised my hand, and in a very short time was called upon. All I could say was, “I guess I am a Jesus freak.” Immediately, our two bird colonel commanders (one Jewish), commanded me to stand up and speak, to a group of about 80 — 100 “medical personnel”. The first thing that immediately came to my mind was, “do not attack the chaplain!” I opened my mouth, and amazingly I began speaking about the validity of the Scriptures, previous fulfilled prophecies and a few prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled.
I was amazed at what I was saying and that was the first time that I had ever pieced all these prophecies and Scriptures together.
And then, people began asking me questions, many of far greater depth than what the chaplain had dealt with. I myself was amazed and marveling at my answers. I was even presenting some wisdom that was slightly counter what I had believed up to that time. I spoke for over an hour.
After I had answered everyone’s questions, it was time for us to go outside in formation, to be formally dismissed for the weekend. As we were trying to leave the auditorium, I was inundated by many other reservists who were complimenting me on my “performance.” In my mind I was thinking, “Where the hell were you guys when I needed you?” (Most of them I didn’t know.). The chaplain came up to me, and everyone else parted. And exclaimed, “I have never heard anyone speak with such power and authority. We need to get together sometime.” Naturally, that never occurred. And I learned later that when I eventually entered an “intern pastorship,” at one of those major nondenominational churches, and had applied for an “early out,” for that internship; he personally prevented it.
I ended up being one of the last ones to leave the auditorium. Suddenly, I was in front of the entire military formation, being the last one to find a position. The moment I encountered that formation, I was struck with what seemed like a wall of evil and hate, to a degree that I had never felt before, coming from that military formation. I felt overcome with adrenaline, but was not in a position to either “fight or flight.” Soon as I found a position in the formation, we were dismissed.
As we all walked to the parking lot, no one would look at me or say anything. Everyone was unusually quiet. It was almost as if I was a leper.
For the next few months, my regular friends pretty much avoided me, while I attempted to avoid the “milk toast Christians.” Eventually everything returned to normal. Let me state for the record that I was never one to preach or evangelize everybody. I didn’t go around “witnessing,” but I was a living witness. My life had obviously changed. Then eventually many of those friends did become Christians also.
Mark 13:11 is literally true and is not some weak excuse. The Holy Spirit will give you exactly what you need, “in that hour.” What I was given at that time, for that moment, is what is written in the Scriptures as the “Word of Wisdom,” and the “Word of Knowledge.” These are both workings of the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t given it because I was less of a sinner than others, more “educated” than others, or for my good looks. LOL! It was something that the Holy Spirit wanted said, and I was a willing but somewhat reluctant vessel.
The teachings about the “gifts of the Spirit,” and the ministries are written by apostle Paul in first Corinthians chapter 12, through chapter 14. Remember, that the Scriptures were written without chapter and verse numbers, and I believe also they were missing most punctuation marks. Paul tells us in the last verse of chapter 12: 1Co 12:31 “But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.” And then we have chapter 13. Chapter 13 discusses the “more excellent way.” The “church” uses Chapter 13, “the love chapter,” for weddings, which is nice but it is not the topic. The chapter divisions have hidden the Holy Spirit’s “secret,” to the workings of The Gifts that are given to the church. Note: the “church” are the people, congregation, and not the building or organization/Corporation.
No wonder that the church is anemic and impotent.
Here are the initial Scriptures to get you started.
Note: this is written in the new American Standard version of the Bible, 1995. Use something that is in an understandable translation and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. (Every translation will at least have some human errors, thanks to the Tower of Babel.).
1Co 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
1Co 12:4 ¶ Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.1Co 12:5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
1Co 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1Co 12:8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
1Co 12:10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
1Co 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
1Co 12:12 ¶ For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 ¶ For the body is not one member, but many.
1Co 12:31 But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way.
1Co 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.